Friday, August 11, 2006

Wal-Mart Follows the Law

Wal-Mart has recently been forced to recognize the Chinese 'labor union' (actually an arm of the communist government). Wal-Mart explains why they did this:
"Our policy is to comply with the laws of every country in which we operate, and in China it is required by law that if even one associate asks to join a union, then you have to install the union in the store."
There may be some disagreement with this statement that Wal-Mart complies with the laws of every country. Maybe the Saskatchewan Labor board disagrees or the fact that Wal-Mart is sued once every two hours may be an indication that the Wal-Mart statement is not completely factual. Maybe this article might suggest that the claim may not be true.
Because the consequences are so minimal, Wal-Mart does not hesitate to break the law in order to stay union-free. Indeed, as the Greencastle handbook to managers notes frankly, during a union drive, "You...are expected to support the company's position.... This may mean walking a tightrope between legitimate campaigning and improper conduct." Wal-Mart has been found guilty of many violations of workers' right to organize, even firing union sympathizers. But paying fines--or in some cases, merely hanging a sign in the break room that states that the company violated workers' rights--is for Wal-Mart simply part of the cost of doing business, a small price to pay for keeping unions out. Until labor laws are reformed to make violating workers' rights a criminal offense--punishable by sending managers and CEOs to prison--running Wal-Mart campaigns based on National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) challenges may be fruitless.
Did they comply with the law in the State of Connecticut? Let's see:
HARTFORD — Wal-Mart has agreed to pay a $1.15 million fine and correct a slew of environmental violations at 22 of its Connecticut stores, violations that state officials said showed a systematic disregard for the law.
Maybe the 'comply with the law' statement should be re-written to say:

"Our policy is to comply with the laws of every country in which we are trying to establish a foothold for our business".


No comments: